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DOJ: Paul Kruse (Blue Bell ex-CEO/Prez) Charged with Wire Fraud, Conspiracy in Blue Bell Cover-Up.


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https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/21/business/blue-bell-ice-cream-listeria-former-ceo-charges/index.html

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New York (CNN Business)A Texas grand jury charged Paul Kruse, Blue Bell Creameries' former CEO and president, was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with an alleged cover-up of the company's 2015 listeria outbreak, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.

Kruse, who served as the company's CEO and president from 2004 to 2017, was charged with seven counts of wire fraud and conspiracy for an alleged scheme to cover up what the company knew about the listeria contamination in Blue Bell products, according to the Department of Justice.

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"We firmly believe the charges will be dismissed because they are untimely," said Chris Flood, who represents Kruse. "We look forward to a jury hearing what really happened in 2015 and Blue Bell's response to the unfortunate events."

Blue Bell said it would be inappropriate for the company to comment on Kruse's legal situation since he is no longer with the company.

 

They are "untimely"???  Really?  

Untimely: (of an event or act) happening or done at an unsuitable time.

Was there a more suitable time to bring these charges?

DOJ release:

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-blue-bell-creameries-president-charged-connection-2015-ice-cream-listeria

 

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It's a bit disingenuous for Blue Bell to just say this guy is no longer with the company so they don't have a comment. He owns the company with the rest of his family. Unless there has been some announcement that I didn't hear, that he sold off his ownership stake.

Personally I haven't bought blue bell since this scandal. I go with Ben & Jerry's, Haagen Dazs, or other smaller brands. And I've put down a lot of ice cream since the covid crisis hit. I need to go for a walk to drop that weight. Maybe a 2000-mile hike around the 'hood.

Edited by Nice Guy Eddie
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3 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:


https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/21/business/blue-bell-ice-cream-listeria-former-ceo-charges/index.html

 

They are "untimely"???  Really?  

Untimely: (of an event or act) happening or done at an unsuitable time.

Was there a more suitable time to bring these charges?

DOJ release:

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-blue-bell-creameries-president-charged-connection-2015-ice-cream-listeria

 

Untimely meaning not within the five year statute of limitations.  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3282

He was charged by information previously, which meant the charges were not taken before a grand jury to result in an indictment.  It was not taken before a grand jury in a timely fashion, so the charges were dismissed.  Super strange.

According to the indictment, many of the acts forming the basis of the indictment occurred prior to October 2015, which raises a fairly serious limitations question.

I don't know, but it's possible that the time Kruse was under charges by information doesn't count against the five years.  

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On 10/22/2020 at 3:07 PM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

It's a bit disingenuous for Blue Bell to just say this guy is no longer with the company so they don't have a comment. He owns the company with the rest of his family. Unless there has been some announcement that I didn't hear, that he sold off his ownership stake.

Personally I haven't bought blue bell since this scandal. I go with Ben & Jerry's, Haagen Dazs, or other smaller brands. And I've put down a lot of ice cream since the covid crisis hit. I need to go for a walk to drop that weight. Maybe a 2000-mile hike around the 'hood.

He does not own the company. Sure he and the family still have a large interest. One of the Bass brothers saved the company and has a majority interest, therefore Mr. Paul is no longer with the company.  Maybe the smirk will disappear from the little peckers face.

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On 10/22/2020 at 3:07 PM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

It's a bit disingenuous for Blue Bell to just say this guy is no longer with the company so they don't have a comment. He owns the company with the rest of his family. Unless there has been some announcement that I didn't hear, that he sold off his ownership stake.

Personally I haven't bought blue bell since this scandal. I go with Ben & Jerry's, Haagen Dazs, or other smaller brands. And I've put down a lot of ice cream since the covid crisis hit. I need to go for a walk to drop that weight. Maybe a 2000-mile hike around the 'hood.

Man I tell you, I should just keep my mouth shut on this whole deal because I've known the Kruse family my whole life.  Prior to the listeria situation, there was a big split in the Kruse family that led to one of the original 2 brothers who ran the company and made the brand what it was, to be basically forced out by Paul, who is the other brother's son.  What Paul did to his uncle, that company, and to the town of Brenham for that matter, in just a few short years was damn near fatal.  People don't know the whole story and never will, but Paul Kruse was such a cancer there.  I try not to wish ill on anyone, but I want to see Paul have to answer for what he did.  To pay for basically rebuilding all of their factories, they sold a huge share of the company, reportedly about a third, to Sid Bass.

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On 10/22/2020 at 3:07 PM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

It's a bit disingenuous for Blue Bell to just say this guy is no longer with the company so they don't have a comment. He owns the company with the rest of his family. Unless there has been some announcement that I didn't hear, that he sold off his ownership stake.

Personally I haven't bought blue bell since this scandal. I go with Ben & Jerry's, Haagen Dazs, or other smaller brands. And I've put down a lot of ice cream since the covid crisis hit. I need to go for a walk to drop that weight. Maybe a 2000-mile hike around the 'hood.

Tillamook Oregon Strawberry ftw.

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  • 2 years later...
6 hours ago, UTexasFight said:

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-blue-bell-ceo-pleads-guilty-to-misdemeanor-over-listeria-outbreak-16fd8b13

 

Kruse gets off with a $100k fine (or $33k for each person that died).

what a country.

 

Well, according to the article an Austin jury hung on felony charges and I'm guessing it wasn't packed with aggy/sympathizers.  Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

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7 hours ago, UTexasFight said:

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-blue-bell-ceo-pleads-guilty-to-misdemeanor-over-listeria-outbreak-16fd8b13

 

Kruse gets off with a $100k fine (or $33k for each person that died).

what a country.

 

God bless our American justice system. It's always fascinating how the rich and powerful are ALWAYS treated like an edge case and allowed to get away with their evils in the name of profits. Only paying $33k per person your company killed is quite a cheap price for doing business

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Captainant said:

God bless our American justice system. It's always fascinating how the rich and powerful are ALWAYS treated like an edge case and allowed to get away with their evils in the name of profits. Only paying $33k per person your company killed is quite a cheap price for doing business

Well, they tried him and essentially lost.  I guess you can take DOJ to task for not re-trying him.

Blue Bell itself pled guilty to criminal food safety violations and paid $20MM, the second largest food safety fine in the history of the US.

Blue Bell was also sued by its shareholders to the tune of a $60MM settlement.

And there have been a shit ton of civil cases for wrongful death and listeria injuries all over the country.

You can quibble about the degree of liability and punishment, but to say they escaped scot-free is an exaggeration.

Edited by TwiceHorn
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19 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Well, they tried him and essentially lost.  I guess you can take DOJ to task for not re-trying him.

Blue Bell itself pled guilty to criminal food safety violations and paid $20MM, the second largest food safety fine in the history of the US.

Blue Bell was also sued by its shareholders to the tune of a $60MM settlement.

And there have been a shit ton of civil cases for wrongful death and listeria injuries all over the country.

You can quibble about the degree of liability and punishment, but to say they escaped scot-free is an exaggeration.

$80MM in fines and settlements against $500MM revenue ain't much of a punishment if you ask me. Sure the numbers are big, but the proportion is small. But sure, I do suppose a slap on the wrist is technically not scot-free.

 

It's amazing how corporations can negligently spill toxic chemicals and/or negligently spread food borne illnesses and still exist profitably.

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2 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

Well, they tried him and essentially lost.  I guess you can take DOJ to task for not re-trying him.

Blue Bell itself pled guilty to criminal food safety violations and paid $20MM, the second largest food safety fine in the history of the US.

Blue Bell was also sued by its shareholders to the tune of a $60MM settlement.

And there have been a shit ton of civil cases for wrongful death and listeria injuries all over the country.

You can quibble about the degree of liability and punishment, but to say they escaped scot-free is an exaggeration.

 

2 hours ago, Captainant said:

$80MM in fines and settlements against $500MM revenue ain't much of a punishment if you ask me. Sure the numbers are big, but the proportion is small. But sure, I do suppose a slap on the wrist is technically not scot-free.

 

It's amazing how corporations can negligently spill toxic chemicals and/or negligently spread food borne illnesses and still exist profitably.

While these are real punishments for the corporations, we have a system that is too lenient on the individuals making the criminal decisions. I know CEOs or other leaders can face prison time but that rarely is the case. Almost zero.  The exception is when the CEO is ripping off shareholders. Then we throw the book at them.

In some cases we reward CEOs for making these criminal decisions. I'm sure life hasn't been a picnic for Kruse with this situation the past few years but overall I bet Blue Bell paid him well, now and in the future.

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